Last week, I ended saying that there's one more ingredient to add to our weed killer.
Really, there are two.
The fact is that I was going to lump the last two together, because there is a way to do so, but I realized, I wasn't holding entirely to the integrity of the Word.
In reality, I rather wanted to avoid diving into the first of the two final ingredients; well, because it could be a hot button, and I didn't want to be misinterpreted.
Call me chicken. It's OK. Just don't fry me up and eat me for lunch...
So, I'll just jump right in and go for it.
The next ingredient that has to be added to the weed-killer we are mixing for anxiety is:
Some versions translate sober-minded as simply sober, others translate it as self-controlled. I prefer sober-minded. Let me give you the whole Greek definition from my lexicon- νήφω nēphō; literally: to abstain from wine, i.e. (figuratively) be discreet: — be sober, to watch.
AV (6) - be sober 4, watch 2;
to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit
to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect
Undoubtedly, you can determine why I didn't want to "touch this word with a ten foot pole," right?
Potentially, it could be a divisive topic, as each of us has our own opinions on the place of drinking in Christian circles.
In its literal use, it means to abstain from wine (or, in another Greek dictionary, "anything of chemical nature, which affects the way one thinks").
Figuratively, it refers to using caution, and being careful, or circumspect (heedful of potential consequences) in one's thoughts or actions.
My intention is not to weigh out the right-or-wrong of drinking.
We're talking about ANXIETY...and, more importantly, how we can help encourage HOPE-FULL-NESS in ourselves and others, who are living in what author, Max Lucado, calls the anxie-tree.
Perhaps, an even better way to define sober-mindedness is clear-headed.
After looking up each passage where the same Greek word is used, I've come to an opinionated conclusion about Peter's intent. Obviously, I can not read his mind, but think my grasp is informed and fairly accurate.
Here's what he's saying in brief:
Walk at all times alert in mind, thinking logically and coherently.
As, strong drink can muddle the mind, and cause one to perceive things inaccurately, a believer needs to use caution, and stay unaffected and realistic of thought, and yes, even emotions that will naturally follow what is thought about.
WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WE FEEL...
So, how do I practically live sober-minded and clear-headed? I:
+ Think about what I'm thinking about (there's a word for this: metacognition).
+ Ask: how well does my thought-life measure up to God's way of thinking? Am I being rational? Am I being logical? Am I thinking what is TRUE, NOBLE, RIGHT, PURE, LOVELY, HONORABLE, and PRAISEWORTHY?
+ "Take captive every thought and imagination" by staying focused, and fighting back with TRUTH...
+ Literally destroy every wrong thought and lie that raises itself up inside the head (believe me, these last two are not easy - there is a reason for the word head-STRONG in our dictionaries).
+ Like all "demons" that are cleared away, I must replace the mental-ones, and fill my mind with renewed thoughts...(to renew: completely change for the better). Exchange the bad for the new. The wrong for the right. The negative for the positive. The self-pity for appreciation. The ugly for the lovely. Put off the old, put on the new.
+ Dwell on the Word of Christ (live in it and allow it to influence your heart and mind).
By practicing the practical, we are adding 6 teaspoons to the weed-killer for anxiety. Those 6 teaspoons are POWERFUL!
Honestly, all this mixing is already beginning to do its work.
After, completing the above yesterday morning, I went for a long walk. The Lord whispered to the ears of my heart - "you didn't finish."
"It's as done as I want it to be, Lord."
That's when I saw a beer bottle lying beside the road I walk, littering the pristine beauty of the national forest ahead.
While discussing, anxiety, there is a rule of thumb all Christians should heed regarding drinking...
1) Don't get drunk. As Paul says, this can lead to debauchery (an old French word, meaning "to loosen up," so as to become lax and unrestrained in morality).
2) Instead, by filled with the Spirit, or as author/speaker Beth Moore says, "There is no high like the MOST HIGH."
3) Keep your wits about you, so you can make the most of your time.
4) And, oh, please ---- don't litter.